Towards Circular High-Visibility Apparel Project

Assembled Threads is proud to announce that we’ve been awarded a grant to explore a project: Towards Circular High-Visibility Apparel. This project is supported by the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund, delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government. The grant is designed to support local community initiatives and businesses like ours to reduce waste, pollution, and non-organic and organic material going to landfill, as well as boost Victoria’s economy through job creation and repurposing initiatives.

We’re manufacturing a trial range of approximately one thousand hi-vis vests using recycled fabric and we’ve engaged industry partners in the infrastructure industry to supply them with a product that not only meets safety standards and regulations but is environmentally sustainable and involves social procurement strategies.

Hi-vis apparel has a heavy impact on the environment. The most common textile fibre used in hi-vis products and other PPE is polyester (a type of plastic), and because regulatory standards for this precludes them from being resold after they’re used, they end up in landfill. But they don’t have to: we’re creating hi-vis industrial uniforms with recycled polyester, so they’re more sustainably produced and we’ve implemented a take-back scheme to explore if they can be recycled or repurposed, detailing what the costs and options involved are to extend their life.

Our project will contribute to the growth of the local circular economy by creating an industry-appropriate product with a long lifecycle and a zero-waste outcome—but that’s not all it does. We’re also providing employment and training for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community members who face huge barriers to employment: Assembled Threads provides important social support, skills training and employment resources, making our industry fairer and more equitable, and helping people from diverse backgrounds to fully participate in our community. We’re also engaging with local suppliers to help us with services like patternmaking, cutting, printing, creating a mutually beneficial support network that’s supporting the local economy and keeping the whole production process on our soil.

We are grateful to our industry partners who are trialling the vests on rail, construction, road, and industry projects and are involved in the take back program:

  • Australian Red Cross 
  • Built Industries 
  • City of Whittlesea 
  • Coleman Railway – Murray Basin Rail Project 
  • Delta Group 
  • Icon 
  • Laing O’Rourke 
  • Level Crossing Rail Project – Southern Program Alliance 
  • Moonee Valley City Council 
  • Spark – North-East Link 

We believe sustainability starts with us. It starts with you, too: please spread the word and support our business, because together through small steps we can make great change in our community.

We’d love you to participate in creating our local circular economy. If you’d like to do more, you can invest in our business with a donation, purchase our hand-printed products or source your hi-vis workwear from our website.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for your local production needs.

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